From the Archives

A Glimpse of Yesterday’s Future in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

SnowcrashI’ve reread Snow Crash dozens of times because it’s just that good.

I’m sure most cyberpunk fans are already familiar with the title, but any fan who hasn’t read it would be remiss to skip this groundbreaking and genre-defining masterpiece.  It’s become something of a grandfather in cyberpunk, one of the first on the scene.

Nowadays the concept of a Snow Crash is falling into obscurity, (except of course to those interested in cosmic background radiation) but in the late 80’s and early 90’s many were all-to-familiar with the black and white static and its companion shushing sound that you would find by turning the TV knob to a channel you couldn’t get.

But in this prophetic novel by Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash is much more; it’s the first drug you can take inside the Metaverse (a full virtual reality version of the internet).  The only problem is it kills high-level programmers and hackers with just one dose.  And so part-time Mafia pizza delivery driver, last of the freelance hackers, and greatest swordsman in the world, Hiro Protagonist decides it’s in his best interest to get to the bottom of this new drug on digital street.  What he uncovers goes deep into the heart of every world power, and back to the beginning of time when one hacker became a god.